U-23 AFCON: STIRRING COMEBACK REKINDLES NIGERIA HOPES

 Nigeria produced a late comeback to breathe new life into their campaign at the ongoing U-23 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, beating Zambia 3-1 in Cairo.

Coach Imama Amapakabo was able to call upon the experience of team captain Azubuike Okechukwu, as well as the presence of Mainz striker Taiwo Awoniyi, both of whom joined the squad following the opening day defeat at the hands of Cote D’Ivoire.

However, it was Zambia who began the brightest, with RB Salzburg forward Patson Daka breaking the deadlock in the 12th minute after a strong solo run.

Nigeria would level soon after though, as Orji Okonkwo connected with a corner to divert the ball into the bottom corner and tie the score at 1-1.

On 65 minutes, the defending champions would take the lead for the first time in the competition. Midfielder Kelechi Nwakali was fouled on the edge of the Zambia box, and he picked himself up to dispatch the free-kick past a stranded Mangani Banda for 2-1.

With the Zambians pouring forward in search of an equalizer, Nigeria applied the coup de grace on the break, as Banda went walkabout outside his area, allowing Awoniyi to round him and roll the ball into the empty net.

Nigeria go up to second in the group, just one point off leaders South Africa ahead of their clash in the final group game.

Leave a Reply